Klezmer Quartet No. 1

8 min.





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Program Notes
Klezmer Quartet No. 1, was written after viewing a video by composer, David Bruce, "What Classical Musicians Can Learn from Klezmer, Jazz and Other Traditions", as well as a video by composer, Martin Keary (known by his YouTube handle, Tanatcrul), "Shostakovich: Composing with Stalin Watching". Both of these videos mentioned the Jewish musical style of Klezmer. David Bruce's video—analyzed the character on the clarinet in Klezmer via its vibrato; And Martin Keary's video briefly analyzed Shostakovich's String Trio No. 2—Movement IV, the main motif being based on a Jewish wedding theme. Both of these videos opened my eyes to a new musical style but also sounds not explored enough. This piece overall, is designed to imitate the Klezmer musical style. The two movements have unique characteristics to them, the first movement explores the Klezmer sound of the clarinet but also polymeter later in the dance portion of the movement, before collapsing to an end. The second movement is a slow lamentable piece that focuses on the unique sound of 24-TET microtonality. Efforts to make this tuning not sound drastic is done with an immediate introduction of a melody—that employs microtones—but also serves as foundation for the entire movement; With different harmonies and textural combinations achieved for each slight variation. After modulating, the microtonality slowly wanes away, returning to “normal” 12-TET tuning. Except for the F-half-sharp in the final chord. Neither major nor minor—a “neutral” chord—fades out to nothing.
Recording Notes
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